Swedish authority wants online defamation to be punishable by law

Credits: IDG News Service By Mikael Ricknäs

‘The Swedish Data Inspection Board wants to make “grave” defamatory remarks made online a crime, even in cases that are currently protected by the country’s constitution.

The statement from the public authority follows an inquiry last year by a parliamentary committee that examined whether to update the constitution’s freedom of press and freedom of speech provisions for the Internet era. The the Freedom of Expression Committee suggested that the government should leave protections afforded by the constitution unchanged.

But the Data Inspection Board is convinced a general penalty provision is needed, even for sources currently covered by the constitution, such as newspapers and websites with a special permit. These special permits allow websites to have the same protections as print newspapers. A separate inquiry would have to decide what should be considered grave, according to Hans-Olof Lindblom, chief legal counsel at the Data Inspection Board.

“Given the testimony we get from people that get in touch with us, there is a need for more a general protection against grave slander,” said Lindblom.’

Above excerpts and read the full story on www.itworld.com

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